Taxation has always been a problem for the common Pakistani. Now that the famous DJ Butt has to pay a handsome sum in taxes and has been served a notice by the Punjab Revenue Authority. Maybe his example will make others follow? Little did the entertainer know that asking for millions on national television would paint a target on his back for taxes. DJ Butt is a taxpayer and a regular filer of his income tax returns. After receiving the tax notice, he said he is now completing papers, though he wont be ready in the time the Punjab Revenue Authority has given. He has also said that his employees will also pay income tax on their salaries. Like all things PTI, from MNAs returning salaries to Imran Khan demanding civil disobedient in the form of not paying utility bills and taxes but then paying them… better late than never.

Here is the problem; we Pakistanis only do the right thing when we are caught doing the wrong thing. It never occurred to the MNAs to just refuse salaries when they were absent, nor does it occur to private businessmen that if they had filed their income tax papers, they would not have to the pay the 0.6 percent withholding tax on large bank transactions. We expect the state to provide us health, education and social welfare, and then refuse to contribute with taxes. We have to realize that only when we do our part as citizens, like paying taxes, will there be even the potential for the state to provide benefits for all. Yes, it works in reverse, we have to give before we can take, and we may not get what we deserve in the short run due to political and bureaucratic corruption, but it is the right thing to do and we are legally bound to pay taxes.

The government must also put its house on order. It has to find a way to replace indirect taxes by direct taxes. The former hurt the middle and the lower classes the most and those with higher income are allowed to getaway without paying their tax liability matching their income. Taxes have to go to the right projects and must not tainted by corrupt hands.

DJ Butt is a taxpayer, you can be one too. Maybe that should be a new slogan for the PTI to get people to pay taxes.